Ellicott City lawyer to try third run for Howard County state's attorney Incumbent Hymes won't seek 5th term

September 23, 1993|By Alan J. Craver | Alan J. Craver,Staff Writer

An Ellicott City lawyer has announced his candidacy for Howard County state's attorney to succeed William R. Hymes, who is retiring.

Joseph Fleischmann II, a Republican, filed his candidacy papers with the county Board of Elections on Sept. 13 to run for the top prosecutor's post in the county in 1994.

Mr. Hymes, now in his fourth term, said he will not seek a fifth four-year term.

"I'll be 68 when this term ends," said Mr. Hymes, a Democrat. "I firmly believe there comes a [time] when the senior citizens should make way for a new generation."

Mr. Fleischmann, a 50-year-old Ellicott City resident, is the second lawyer so far to formally file candidacy papers for county state's attorney.

Michael Allen Weal, a 46-year-old Democrat from Ellicott City, filed for the post in July.

A 16-year veteran of the county prosecutor's office, Mr. Weal has been chief of the State's Attorney's District Court Division since 1979.

The deadline for filing candidacy notices with the elections office is July 5, 1994.

Mr. Fleischmann, a divorced father of two children and an Army veteran, said he hopes to bring innovative ideas to the state's attorney's office that would include suggestions from citizens and victims of crime.

"I think what is necessary is a re-evaluation," said Mr. Fleischmann, who received his law degree from the University of Baltimore in 1973.

"This county needs a little infusion of another approach," he said.

The candidate, if elected, proposes to establish a community panel made up of business and civic leaders to learn the concerns of county residents about crime.

In addition, Mr. Fleischmann said, he would like the panel to study the de-criminalization of some offenses, such as first-time drunken-driving charges, to help relieve the growing backlog in the county courts.

Mr. Fleischmann said he would want the state's attorney's office to have an open-door policy to allow citizens and victims of crime to give input for prosecuting certain cases and sentencing defendants.

He said he also would expect to regularly prosecute cases himself. "That way you have a handle on what's going on in the courtroom," he said.

Mr. Fleischmann, a former prosecutor in Baltimore and in Howard County, made unsuccessful bids for the state's attorney spot in 1982 and 1990.

In 1982, he lost in the Democratic primary to Mr. Hymes.

He later switched political parties and lost in the 1990 Republican primary by 400 votes.

"This time I'm trying again," said Mr. Fleischmann. "Hopefully, the third time is a charm."

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